What I’m Reading: The Lager Queen of Minnesota

A blog reader recommended the book The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal.  It said Minnesota in the title and I was born and raised in Minnesota so I thought I would give the book a try.

I love when blog readers recommend books…but it also makes me a little nervous.  What if I don’t like them?  I know everyone can have their own opinion and that’s actually a good thing that they do but what if I really hated the book?  Would I write about it…Hmm.

Well, I listened to this as an audiobook.  Three chapters in, I was trying to figure out how I was going to write a review saying I didn’t like it.  The narrator was not my style.  Not my style at all.  She was trying to make her voice sound like what she perceived to be an older lady’s Minnesotan accent…in the end, it sounded more like she was mocking her.

You have to remember.  I grew up in Minnesota.  I grew up with farm women around me.  I grew up just hours from the areas that this book takes place.  Not a single lady I knew while I was growing up talked with an accent like that.  The narrator got on my nerves so bad.  It sounded trashy and I almost gave up on the book because of it…

BUT, I didn’t.

I’m glad I didn’t because after I got to a point where I could just ignore the fake accent, I enjoyed the book.

Here is what Amazon had to say:
Two sisters, one farm. A family is split when their father leaves their shared inheritance entirely to Helen, his younger daughter. Despite baking award-winning pies at the local nursing home, her older sister, Edith, struggles to make what most people would call a living. So she can’t help wondering what her life would have been like with even a portion of the farm money her sister kept for herself.

With the proceeds from the farm, Helen builds one of the most successful light breweries in the country, and makes their company motto ubiquitous: “Drink lots. It’s Blotz.” Where Edith has a heart as big as Minnesota, Helen’s is as rigid as a steel keg. Yet one day, Helen will find she needs some help herself, and she could find a potential savior close to home. . . if it’s not too late.

Meanwhile, Edith’s granddaughter, Diana, grows up knowing that the real world requires a tougher constitution than her grandmother possesses. She earns a shot at learning the IPA business from the ground up–will that change their fortunes forever, and perhaps reunite her splintered family?

Here we meet a cast of lovable, funny, quintessentially American characters eager to make their mark in a world that’s often stacked against them. In this deeply affecting family saga, resolution can take generations, but when it finally comes, we’re surprised, moved, and delighted.

Amazon readers gave the book 4.3 stars.  I’m going to agree.  I think I would have given it a higher rating if I had read it vs listening to the audio version.

You can find the book HERE on Amazon.  If you’ve read the book I’d love to hear what you thought about it.

6 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Lager Queen of Minnesota”

  1. I find it so interesting that the narrator’s delivery was almost a deal breaker for you. I’ve had the same reaction to audio books as well. I have always appreciated your narrator mentions in your reviews. I just listened to The Last Bookshop in London. It helped get me through my recent bout of flu. As you like ww2 books, maybe you’ve heard of it? Blessings.

  2. I read this book and loved it! Quirky characters, but so interesting. Love to see recommendations from others, and I would highly recommend this book, too. Have you read a book by Leah Franqui, Mother Land? It’s very good, too. Sending good thoughts and prayers to you.

  3. Jo, As people say, different strokes for different folks. Please don’t hesitate to tell us exactly what you think. I have read 3 books that you recommended this year. One was not bad, but easily forgotten. I absolutely loved the other two. I appreciate your reviews. Thank you.

  4. I can’t really concentrate on audiobooks. I have to read the print. I have read this book and loved it. I also read “Kitchens of the Great Midwest”.

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